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blowing up Facebook’s £150MILLION internet satellite (Blown to bits: Mark Zuckerberg’s dream)

Blown to bits: Mark Zuckerberg's dream of bringing web to Sub-Saharan Africa


ROCKET BLAST SpaceX rocket EXPLODES at Cape Canaveral space centre -- blowing up Facebook's £150MILLION internet satellite

NASA says SpaceX was conducting a test firing of its unmanned rocket when the blast occurred Thursday morning


A ROCKET has exploded at Cape Canaveral space centre -- blowing up Facebook's £150million internet satellite.

NASA says SpaceX was conducting a test firing of its pioneering unmanned rocket when disaster struck.

A series of explosions sent smoke and flames shooting through the sky and shook buildings miles away.

The blast took with it Facebook's first satellite costing the company a whopping £150 million.

SpaceX - founded by PayPal and Tesla tycoon Elon Musk - confirmed there was an anomaly on the launch pad which resulted in the loss of the rocket and its payload.

The Israeli made Amos-6 communications satellite was, according to Tech Crunch, carrying technology to allow Mark Zuckerberg's firm to spot beam wireless internet directly to smartphones in sub-Saharan Africa.

The social media company was working in conjunction with a French satellite provider named Eutelsat to lease the communication array for five years.

The first explosion occurred shortly before 9am with a second blast following about 20 minutes later.

Buildings several miles away shook from the blast and multiple explosions continued for several minutes. A cloud of dark smoke filled the overcast sky.

The test, considered routine, was in advance of a planned Saturday launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Additional details were not immediately available. But sirens could be heard in the aftermath.

NASA SpaceX's major customer said the explosion occurred at Launch Complex 40 at the Air Force station, and Kennedy emergency staff was on standby.

At the same time, personnel were monitoring the air for any toxic fumes.

The rocket was supposed to hoist an Israeli communications satellite this weekend which reports suggest was set to carry technology for Facebook into orbit.

The Amos-6 satellite had amongst its functions the capability for the social media company to spot-beam broadband for their Internet.org initiative.

The initiative's aim is to spread internet around the globe and its website states: "The internet is essential to growing the knowledge we have and sharing it with each other.

"And for many of us, it's a huge part of our everyday lives. But most of the world does not have access to the internet.

"Internet.org is a Facebook-led initiative with the goal of bringing internet access and the benefits of connectivity to the two-thirds of the world that doesn't have them.

"Imagine the difference an accurate weather report could make for a farmer planting crops, or the power of an encyclopedia for a child without textbooks.

"Now, imagine what they could contribute when the world can hear their voices. The more we connect, the better it gets."

A fire burns on the launch pad after the explosion at Cape Canaveral
An explosion was heard at Cape Canveral after a SpaceX 9 rocket exploded

Buildings several miles away shook from the blast and multiple explosions continued for several minutes

Blown to bits: Mark Zuckerberg's dream of bringing web to Sub-Saharan Africa

The £150million satellite that blew up was part of Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg's dream of delivering internet to Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Israeli-made Amos-6 was carrying technology that could spot beam wireless internet directly to smartphones.


The social media company was working in conjunction with a French satellite provider named Eutelsat to lease the communication array for five years.
It was due to be sent into space by SpaceX - a US aerospace firm founded by PayPal and Tesla tycoon Elon Musk.

The initial blast sounded like lightning, but was followed by the sounds of more explosions.

SpaceX is one of two companies shipping supplies to the space station for NASA.

It's also working on a crew capsule to ferry station U.S. astronauts; that first flight was supposed to come as early as next year.

Two NASA astronauts were conducting a spacewalk 250 miles up, outside the International Space Station, when the explosion occurred.

Mission Control did not immediately advise them of the accident.

Before all launches, Space X conducts a static fire test in which the engines are turned on while the rocket is restrained.

The California-based company, led by billionaire Elon Musk, had been ramping up with frequent launches to make up for a backlog created by a launch accident in June 2015.

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